Cooling LEC - Energy-flexible buildings by controlling cooling systems via unidirectional communication in local energy communities
Starting point / motivation
The advancing climate change in Austria has led to an increase in temperatures and, consequently, in cooling requirements and cooling systems. To the power system (in particular to the distribution network) by active cooling systems, especially at low voltage level, new challenges arise.
The high electrical power demand of active cooling units and the high density of these units, that are operated sometimes uncoordinated and at inappropriate times, consumption peaks occur in the system. This situation could be avoided by ripple control systems (RCS).
For decades, the operation of boilers and night storage has been operated via RCS (= unidirectional communication) and thus peak loads have been avoided. This principle can also be realized for the control of cooling devices. RCS have been established for many decades and are available and proven by all energy suppliers. The upscaling potential is very big.
Contents and goals
The overall goal of the Cooling LEC project is
- (1) the development and demonstration
- (2) of a central controller / intelligence
- (3) with distributed active cooling systems
- (4) via a further development of the unidirectional communication of ripple control systems
- (5) to create energy-flexible building
- (6) in the sense of the new approach of "Local Energy Communities" by creating a "special tariff".
In addition to the technical consideration, economic and legal factors must also be taken into account. Here, the framework conditions agreed in the EU Winter Package on the creation of so-called Local Energy Communities (LEC) have opened up further potential. LEC allow local prosumers to use their existing grid infrastructure to share power for self-consumption optimization. LECs are now working in locally markets with locally generated energy.
- (1) Additional energy demand of decentralized active cooling units can be covered by locally available renewable energy (PV).
- (2) No additional barriers on common communication channels.
- (3) Avoid investment in decentralized intelligence among customers.
- (4) Upgrade the ripple control system to control the active cooling units.
- (5) Optimization of the control commands by a self-learning system.
- (6) Ensuring the efficiency of the system through LEC approach (new tariff model): Reduce costs by at least 15% for the operation of active cooling units.
- (7) No loss of comfort of the users.
- (8) Estimation of decentralized operating states on the basis of centrally available data: The system should increase the response accuracy by 50% compared to the rigid approach.
The technology developed and demonstrated in the project should not replace the efforts to develop smart grids and energy efficiency measures. Rather, it is seen as a supplement to these efforts, with the aim of substituting data volumes by increased intelligence in the system.
4ward Energy Research GmbH
Project or cooperation partners
Stadtwerke Hartberg Verwaltungs Gesellschaft m.b.H.